Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Painting

This is another painting we did in an art class I taught a few weeks ago. Other than the fact that the junk Wal-Mart paints were either thin like water or thick like toothpaste, everyone's paintings came out fantastically well.

Acrylics are fantastic. Make a mistake? Wait a minute and viola! you can paint right over it. Except maybe here in the desert when you only need to wait 5.4 seconds before it dries. It does make blending a bit of a challenge.

One thing the art class participants have trouble with is using enough paint. I tell them to scoop the paint onto their brushes and lay down the first base layer of color in a very thick coat. Then they can pick up their lights for highlights and dark for lowlights and blend the colors right there on the canvas. Make the paint do the work for you! But it only works with super-duper globs of paint. Especially here in the desert. And new artists are hesitant to do anything super-duper in fear of making a super-duper mistake.

The repeat participants are getting it. This painting only took us 3 hours were the first two took us almost 4. As I said, there really are no mistakes with acrylics.

I have been asked to teach a painting class at our local on-base housing center as a community craft class. And then the director of our local art council has asked me to teach this type of class at the town's art center, The Firehouse. I'm honored!

In January I plan on hosting a family painting class for our homeschool co-op. We have 28474 girls between the ages of 5-15 that want to paint like their mom's have been, so I figured it was time to put together a family art class. Boys are welcome, too!

See you in a future art class!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Art Instructor Me!

Last month I began teaching a monthly art class to the moms in my homeschool co-op. One of the co-op directors had the idea to have a monthly craft party, at night, NO CHILDREN.

As you can imagine, we moms that homeschool don't get a whole lot of NO CHILDREN time. (Other than soccer, scouts, Awana, basketball, art classes, and all of the other socializing opportunities we have time to participate in.)

But these craft parties were intended to give us busy, stressed out moms a chance to visit together and do something fun, without the stress of many small hands pulling on our pant legs.

I offered to teach a painting class and they went so well we have done two painting parties so far.

This was our first group painting. It took us almost 4 hours to complete it. Oops. I think I picked a too time-intensive painting. But the moms got many complements from family and friends and I think overall they were happy with the time spent with NO CHILDREN.

There is a class offered through the Frame Shop on base called iCanvas. It is offered once per month with only 12 participants allowed. The charge is $25 and that includes use of brushes, paints, art instruction, and a 16" x 20" painting you get to keep when you go home.

The classes always fill up, and since I have a community center I can rent for free, I decided to offer similar classes. I will only charge $20 per person. That covers all costs plus a modest instructor fee.

My first non-co-op class is next week. I'll let you know how it goes.

This was our second craft party painting. I promised the girls a flower, and somehow I came up with this busy piece of art.

The moms/friends/teachers/awesome-women did a FANTASTIC job on this painting. It only took 3 hours and even though the paints I bought at Wal-Mart tried to take away our spirit, we ended up with 10 masterpieces.

Did I mention we bring snacks, wine, and listen to groovy music while we paint? It's wonderful.

Although, I have had a few requests to make the next painting easier. "We're not that good," they keep telling me.

I've seen their work and yes, yes they are that good. But I understand that when you are not an artist it can be stressful to paint something too difficult, so next time I'll pick something faster.

Please excuse the glare, but this is a painting I taught for a high school co-op art class. We only had 45 minutes, though we pushed it up to an hour, and the kids did a great job. They got to choose the color scheme of the flowers and the stems. I was told there were only girls in the class so when a young man arrived I thought he might balk at having to paint flowers.

He took it in stride and painted blue flowers.

Teaching a painting class is something I have enjoyed. It's a fun way to visit with friends, make something special, and have a change from the norm.

And it's a beautiful excuse to drink wine.

Friday, August 12, 2011

In My Mind

"In My Mind"

Acrylic, 24" x 48" 1.5"

There are a lot of strange things happening with this painting. First being the name. I named this piece "In My Mind" because this beach, where I have spent many, many days, is where I am in my mind. Where I want to be. Where I will be again.

The second strange thing about this beach landscape is the absence of palm trees. When one typically imagines a Carribean beach setting, coconut palms line the waterfront. But here, in my mind's playground, there are pine trees. Even though the pristine turquoise and aquamarine water suggests palm trees, in actuality, the pine trees are just right. I blame my partial Southern, east coast upbringing.

You may be wondering where this mental paradise is located? There is an "out island" of The Bahamas called Eleuthera. It is due east of Nassau, and is a true hidden gem of splendor. We discovered it by referral when my husband was introduced to it by a fellow commercial airline pilot. You see, 20 minutes north of this beach there is an airport with 4+ flights per day to Miami. And 40 minutes south of this beach there is another airport with 5+ flights per day to Fort Lauderdale. It is an airline pilots dream.

The name of this beach is Gaulding Cay Beach. I could go on for an eternity about how wonderful this place is, but I won't bore you. Most blog readers only have 3 minutes per viewing. If you would like more information you can read all about Eleuthera and Gaulding Cay Beach by checking out my other blog; www.thedesertchronicles.com

I will say that I love this beach, this island, not because it is beautiful. No, that's not fair. Of course I love it because it's beautiful. There is no denying it's breath-taking scenery. But there's something more to this island for me that not everyone experiences in the same rush of connectedness. But when I'm there, it's like I'm finally home. I have lived in 18 different homes, in 11 different cities, and six different states during my life. And nowhere, I mean NOWHERE felt like home.

I have visited 30 other states and 6 different countries, and NOWHERE felt like home.

Until I stepped foot on some tiny, remote, isolated island no one has heard of or pronounce.

God willing, we will be moving there, full time, in 2 years, 11 months, and 27 days. Not that I'm counting. We have been dreaming of this, planning for this, aligning our lives for the past three years so we can move there in July 2014.

Needless to say, I have a new favorite painting. It didn't come easy I can tell you that. I'm good at clouds. That's about it. I've never painted a beach, an ocean, sand, or pine needles. Nothing came out like I envisioned it, but that's how painting is for me. There is a disconnect between my mind and my paintbrush-holding hand. Somewhere between gray matter and red muscle, my heart gets in the way and plays havoc with the results.

It's not perfect. Not nearly. But to my heart it is. And that's OK with me.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Purple Fronds

This piece is a commissioned work based on my painting "Fronds for Life". I met the purchaser at my art show in May and she contacted me to paint a Fronds painting for her mother using teal and turquoise.

Commissioning art is hard for the artist. We newbies can't charge much, in fact I've spent so much time on this painting by the time I receive payment I will have made approximately $2 an hour. But of course I'm not complaining. Gotta start somewhere!

I have learned a few things over the past year of accepting commissions:

1. If you don't know the buyer, ask for 30% down, that way if your piece is rejected you can at least cover your cost. (Haven't actually done this one yet but I will next time!)

2. Find out who is accepting the final project. Find out how many people must approve the final piece. If there is more than one person it will be HARD to get that painting perfect for everyone.

3. Have patience. The buyer is busy and this painting may be the center of the artists mind but it is probably not the center of the buyers mind.

4. Be prompt in completely the project. But not too prompt. If you finish a big piece too fast, the buyer might think they were ripped off some how.

5. Business cards. Hand them out to everyone you meet in the art world. Give extras to anyone who purchases your work so they can share you with their friends.

6. Have a day job.

Anyone have any advice about commissions? Getting more, getting paid, etc?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Macaroni and Cheese Wall Art

"What's for Lunch?"

30" x 48" x 1.625" acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas

Yes. I have a painting of a big bowl of mac-n-cheese on the wall of my dining room.

(How do you like those taupe walls and industrial vinyl flooring? Yes, government housing at it's best!)

It's a crappy painting copied off of an incredibly good painting done by someone else. I have redone this dang bowl sixteen times.

This is as good as it's going to get or I may just have to bash the thing in with a hammer.

I even wood-grained the background to match the color of our table and chairs. And yes, even the wood-grain sucks.

Can't win them all, can you?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer Art Clearance

So my art show is all wrapped up with pretty good success! I sold a few paintings and received two commissions that I am presently working on.

The rest of my "inventory" is now 50% off from their original prices. I am making room for new and upcoming projects.

Please feel free to visit my commercial site, www.paulareynoldsart.com, to see the remaining pieces from my show.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 23, 2011

With This Ring

"With This Ring"

6" x 10" watercolor

For this months assignment over at the Calypso Moon Artists Movement, we were to study the videos from the Royal Wedding and using them as inspiration paint something Royally wonderful.

I won't wax poetic about the Royal Wedding as that has been done ad nauseum, but I will state a few things I learned from the viewing and completing of this painting:

1. The Royal fingernails were superbly done. Short, but not too short nails, no colored polish, and not a cuticle to be seen. I wonder if the Royal Manicurist gets the Rack if there is dirt under a Royal fingernail?

2. Details, details, details. In an era when a video can be paused, zoomed in on, copied, pasted, and painted, it's a good idea to make sure all details are perfect. No lint, no dirt, no stray strands of thread, no dust, no NOTHING. There is no more hiding imperfections when every minutiae of your appearance can be panned and zoomed for nit-picking.

3. I officially know the hands of the Prince of Wales better than I know the hands of my husband.

4. He had one heck of a time getting that tiny band onto her finger! I wonder what he was thinking as he pushed and shoved the ring over her knuckle, "Get on there you bloody pile of rubbish! Brilliant. Just brilliant. In front of 2 billion people and I can't even get this bloody ring on her finger!"

5. There was a moment where Prince William seemed to be falling asleep. I bet the Archbishop of Canterbury is a real bore. How fun would that have been! And the headlines read: Prince William Falls Asleep During Royal Wedding, But No one Noticed as They Too were Asleep!"

6. Katherine's sister is gorgeous and her dress was stunning! (Of course so was Katherine's!)

7. Poor Prince Harry. He looked as comfortable in all of that Royal Regalia as a stuffed Christmas goose. Will he get the same pomp and circumstance when he gets married as he's not the Crown Prince?

8. The hats. Oh my, the hats! I think they're superb and should be in fashion here in the States!

9. The Royal Baby Timer has officially been set. Eight months and 2 weeks to go.......

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Matchbox Car Mat

This is a car mat that I made for a friend's son's birthday. It's an acrylic painting done on a sheet of mat board (the stuff that picture frame matting is made out of.) Josh has one, though a tad less detailed, and when he has friends over, the play mat is one of the favorite toys.

It's for Matchbox cars, Hotwheels and the like.

I really try to make birthday presents special. I've seen Josh's friend play with Josh's car mat a dozen times, driving cars around the streets, parking in the parking spaces, and then flying the planes off of the runway.

I had a spare mat board laying around so I thought, "Why not?"

Here are a few close-ups of the "attractions":

McDonald's. Always a kid favorite! And an upgrade from Josh's car mat McDonald's; a drive-through!

A community swimming pool, conveniently located on the same cul-de-sac as the house!

A playground with swings, monkey bars, slide, and a merry-go-round.

An apple orchard. I'm a Yankee at heart.

There's home!

No community of Air Force families would be complete without an airport! Here's a short little runway wide enough even for a B-52!

And a fishing pond.

It was a lot of fun to paint, quite fast as the details were quickly done, but the outcome is great! I hope the little boy is enjoying his new car mat!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Art Show Results

Last night was my first ever art show! I had 23 pieces on display in the "local artist" gallery at The Firehouse in Del Rio, TX. On display in the main gallery were the works of the contestants of the annual Del Rio Artist League's Judged art show. I had four pieces entered into that contest, separate from my private showing.

And guess what? My painting of the robin on the wire, "Freedom to Soar", won second place in the oil/acrylic landscape category! Yippee! I was really surprised to see a ribbon on it, but how exciting!

There were a few hundred entries in the entire show, and there was some fantastic art represented. The winner of the "Best in Show" was also my favorite, a watercolor of a basket of southwestern looking vegetables spilling onto a table top. It was by far the best piece of art I have ever seen. EVER.

Here I am in front of my bird! I'll tell you, I felt slightly like a small town celebrity when I first entered The Firehouse. My showing wasn't to start until 7, but when I arrived at 6 the place was hopping! There were a few dozen art league members studying the artwork, chatting, and getting things set up. When I introduced myself to one of the ladies, she yelled, "PAULA REYNOLDS?! Hey, ladies! Paula Reynolds is here!" After a brief pause, the same lady continued, "You know, the one who painted the BIRD!"

Suddenly I was half-surrounded by a bunch of very tiny little old ladies all smiling and shaking my hand. "We were hoping you would come!" "We just LOVE your painting!" "It's so new and fresh, so unlike anything we've seen here before." "We've all been painting the same thing for years for the art show and it's great to see some new work!" "I knew she was young! You can just tell from the style of painting."

I tell ya, my ego got a bit of a boost last night!

Everyone was so incredibly friendly, outgoing, and sincere that even though most of the members were old enough to be my grandmother, they felt more like new friends. I am glad to be their "new, young blood" into their "little old lady" art club!

Here are some pictures of my smaller gallery space, before the show got started. The paintings were arranged by color, mostly; blues, brown/green, purples.

Some of the paintings have been done within the past year, others as far back as ten years ago. I figured if there was wall space needing a painting, I may as well put it all up!

The paintings looked nice on the walls and under bright fluorescent lighting. The lights made even the ones I've been staring at for years seem new and exciting.

The opening was quite busy, especially with the flow of people coming in for the Judged art show. Maybe 100 people or so came in and of those, I spoke with probably half. I tried to be approachable but not pushy, so if someone loitered around a painting more than another I would gently start a conversation about the painting they were looking at. I met quite a few very kind people last night.

The paintings that garnered the most interest were:

1.) The desert landscape with the four season sections. I heard over and over that "this could be a painting of my backyard!" I pointed out how from afar the desert looks dead, brown, uninteresting, but when you approach it and really more closely, all kinds of colors, details, and life appear. Apparently, I even accidentally painted "The Sleeping Lady" mountains of Mexico in the background. Cool!

2.) The dandelion painting. There were quite a few people who came to look at the painting a few times, commenting kindly on it. One man came back over and over, and when I approached him, he had a wonderful faraway sentimental look on his face. I won't give away a strangers story, but I was thrilled that a painting I had done could evoke such emotion and sentiment in a complete stranger.

3.) Mrs. Starkers. You know, the naked chick running through the field. I was hesitant to put her up. I wasn't sure if her nakedness would be a problem, but I figured what the heck. It's not like you can see anything. At first, when the young children came through with their parents, the kids would run over laughing and pointing at her while mom and dad tried to get them to look away. It was kind of funny. Sorry, parents! But when the kids were gone and the wine drinkers started coming, small groups of women would gather around Mrs. Starkers, smiling and laughing with each other. Each time that happened I would go over and gently enter their conversation by asking them what they saw in her, all naked and running. I got the same answer from each lady. (I think it's a tad revealing, excuse the pun, about the nature of our culture.) Here's the gist of Mrs. Starkers from a strangers perspective:

"She's free. Total freedom. Free from childcare, housework, business work, everything. She's so free she's not even hindered by clothing."

And then they would get this far away look on their face, like they were imaging themselves being free from childcare, housework, business work, everything.

I'm certainly glad I brought her along to the show. She stole it!

Of the 23 paintings I brought, 4 sold. And they were the four that I painted within the last two weeks. Now, I hope I wasn't cheating or putting bad art karma out there, but a few weeks ago I realized that most of my pieces were quite large and expensive. So I painted a triptych and a single daisy that were small, fast to paint, and had proven themselves sell-able as I'd sold ones similar to them before. I was simply hoping to have a few pieces say "SOLD" so other patrons might feel more comfortable purchasing art from an unknown artist. You know the thinking, "Oh, she must be good if some of her art has already sold!" Something along those lines.

And it seems like my initial idea was right on. Within an hour I had sold both the triptych (Live, Laugh, Love) and the small, red daisy. They were inexpensive, $65 and $60 respectively, so I made only a small amount, but those big, fat SOLD letters printed in red are what I was after by putting those pieces in. We'll have to see if it equals more, and larger sales down the road.

So now it's over. The paintings will stay up through the end of May and then the unsold ones will come on back home with me and resume their places on my now empty walls.

This whole process has been exciting, stressful, fun, interesting, and so totally worthwhile. I'm already concocting some ideas for new paintings, and I've already reserved the gallery space for next May.

Only 364 days to go. I better get started...........

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May Art Show

Here is the flyer for The Firehouse, advertising for May's art show line-up. The Firehouse is a refurbished firehouse that was used over 100 years ago. The pottery studio is actually located in the old county jail!

There are two galleries in the Firehouse, the main gallery will host the Del Rio Council for the Arts annual judged art show, and the smaller gallery will host the art of Paula Reynolds: ME!

My show is entitled "Freedom to Soar", based on the robin painting I completed for my Parent Trapped blog. There is a wide variety of styles, colors, and sizes represented in my show. I'm excited for the opening tomorrow night!

Here's the bio I gave them for the show:

Outsider Art; an Ecclectic Mix by Paula Reynolds

There are many artists who have studied their craft for years, perfecting techniques and applications with the aide of art instructors. Some go to art school, some study art at college, while others take private art lessons either in person, and now more frequently, online.

And then there is the “other” type of artist. The artist who never studied art, technique, or application. The artist who picked up a brush, pencil, or sculpting tool, and discovered a love, a desire to make something beautiful, creative, inspiring. These types of artists are called “outsiders” because of their lack of traditional and structured art instruction.

As for me, I started painting in my early 20's while finishing my undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. One day, out of the blue, I decided to paint some butterflies onto the walls of my apartment. After completing these first attempts at painting, I was thrilled with the process, the relaxation, and the results. It was too late to take formal art classes at school, so I began learning and practicing art technique on my own. I won't tell you how long it's been, but here I am, still painting!

I enjoy painting still lifes, landscapes, and sky scenes, along with other eclectic subjects, using acrylic, watercolor, or gouche paints. My style is mostly realistic, though I have branched out to try the “other” type of art: abstract. I have sold paintings for the past three years through my website, recommendations, and commission. I am very excited to have my art on display at The Firehouse for my very first public showing.

Whether from a studied artist or an “outsider”, art has the ability to calm, excite, remind, and stir the emotions of the viewer. With this in mind, I continue to practice and perfect my humble version of “outsider” art, for the enjoyment of future clients, but mostly for myself.

There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.” - Federico Fellini

Look for art by Paula Reynolds on a wall near you!

On the first Friday of every month, The Firehouse participates in the First Friday Artwalk where art patrons can see the new openings at the Firehouse, Casa de la Cultura (a local Mexican heritage arts center), and the Lee-Bunch Gallery (a private art gallery). All three venues are within walking distance, so for two hours art lovers can walk from gallery to gallery and see all of the new art.

Man, are there some fine artists in this area! I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one inspired by the beauty of this dry, bright, brown landscape!

I'll post pictures of the opening next week so you all can see me shaking hands with people I don't know and trying to explain my art to them. I've never had to do that before. I am not versed in what I'll call "art speak"; I don't know about technique, colors, styles, or art periods. I just know what I like, what inspires me, and on what I'll spend my time painting. And I couldn't tell you how those things come out of my mind, through my hand, and onto a canvas. They just do.

And I am thankful.

I'm ready for this showing as it's been in my mind for 8 months or so. I'm excited for this next step.Italic

And I'm already planning my next show. I have a theme in mind already and a half dozen paintings stirring around in the depths of my imagination. I'll give you a hint: They will be more divinely inspired, and a few will feature The Rock. (And I don't mean Dwain Johnson.)

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, "It's the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his tunic (for he had stripped for work), jumped into the water, and headed to shore. - John 21:7

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of my art in the past. This online art community is so inspiring and supportive. It's hard to imagine it! But again, my thanks go out to all of my art friends. Art is more fun when enjoyed together!

See you next week! Wish me luck!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Winter Blues

16" x 40" acrylic on canvas

This painting was done, in part, for the Calypso Moon Artist Movement's April assignment. We were to paint something inspired by music.

I selected the song "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse. You know, from the movie Twilight. I created a painting for a friend based off of a painting in that movie, and although that was a few years ago, I've been wanting to paint one similar for myself. And when I think of Twilight, I think of the song, "Supermassive Black Hole", and vampires. And werewolves. (Go Team Edward! (Although they really should have cast Hayden Christiansen as Edward. Hubba hubba!))(Yes, I realize that I am not a 16 year old girl. But it was a good book series! Maybe?)

This will be one part of a set of four paintings, one for each season. I used only a palette knife to apply the paint. It's hard to see but there is a lot of texture and depth to the colors as I used a bunch of modeling compound to really build it up. It's a work in progress.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Desert Landscape

"Just as Beautiful"

24" x 36" x 1.5" acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas


This painting was completed for the Calypso Moon Artist Movement February assignment to paint a winter landscape.

Yes, this is a winter landscape. Kind of.

We live near the west Texas town of Del Rio, where the Sonoran desert meets the Chihuahuan. There are millions of acres of rolling hills, flat expanses, and jagged ancient mountaintops peeking over every horizon. The trees are short, if at all, the bushes low and thorny, and the animals tough.

And a sky overhead that never ends, that wraps you in a blanket of blue warmth, that stirs the soul and awakens the senses.

At least that's what I see.

Most people who come here see desolation, isolation, harsh environs, and BROWN. "Where are the trees? There's no green here! How can you stand it? It's just so, so, so BROWN."

Yes, yes it is brown, and yes, most of us would consider brown to be a supportive color, not one to gaze upon longingly. But why? Why is brown bad?

True, there are some nasty things that are brown, like mud on the carpet and certain bodily necessities. Eww. Sorry. But there are wonderful things that are brown, too. Chocolate, coffee, soil, potatoes, and brownies. So why is brown bad?

Growing up in the east, I have lived my entire life surrounded by green. Green is great, really it is. But in the Spring and Summer when everything is in bloom, EVERYTHING is green. There is so much green that all of the other colors get washed away, overlooked, neglected. Only the reddest rose will stand out, the most shocking pink azalea can catch your gaze, the most daring yellow sunflower can win your attention. The rest is GREEN.

But not here in the desert. Sure, there is some green to be seen during each season, but the other colors, all ROY G. BIV of them, get their own chance to shine. When your backdrop is brown, you as a color can really show your stuff!

For this painting I wanted to share, in my own little way, the beauty of my desert in all of it's brown glory. Each section represents a season. As you can see, the underlying colors are the same, shades of brown, tan, white, and gray. But each season brings it's own palette of lovely accent colors that in any other green landscape would be completely upstaged.

In Spring, the wettest months with almost 6 inches of rain total, there may be thunderheads building in the never-ending blue skies. The prickly pears awaken from their winter slumber and plump up their pads and become a beautiful, rich, decedent green. On top of these nopales, pads, gorgeous magenta/yellow/red/pink flowers burst forth getting ready for the fruits growing beneath.

The low lying bushes, many of which are Purple Sage, spring to life and with their lavender hues entirely transform the scenery into a bubblegum chorus line. The purple goes on, and on, and on.

There are many, very many small delicate flowers, no larger than your fingernail, that spring to life, their colors adding to the rich web of beauty.

If there was all of that green, none of these other colors would ever be seen.

In Summer, when the cumulus clouds fight for space against the continual blue sky, the rain stops falling and the desert dries up. The last of the sage blooms in purple protest, the cactus lose some of their green pop, and the prickly pear flowers make way for the blood red fruit, called tuna, that top the cactus like crowns.

Sunflower-like weeds grow to glorious heights, straining against the burning sun. The small weed flowers still blossom incredibly, even with temperatures above 110 degrees. The mix of colors shimmer and dance in the radiant heat from the ground.

If there was more green, the sunflowers would be lost in the mix and couldn't give us strength with their determination to beat the sun.

In Fall, there are no clouds. Because of the yearlong low levels of humidity, the sky remains this shade of blue year round. Don't believe me? I invite you to come for a visit and see for yourself. I'll even pick you up from the airport or train station.

The color of the sky at the apex is the deepest cobalt blue, and fades to the horizon in the most stunning display of Carolina blue you have ever seen.

I have been frozen in my tracks many times during my daily run when I take my eyes off of the ground in front of me (spotting for nasty critters), and look up into that glorious sky.

"For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God." -Romans 1:20

The prickly pear fruits become ready for harvest as they turn a deep reddish purple and begin to fall from the cactus. The small flowers still bloom and the shrubs lose their last hints of purple and begin to slowly change into yellow.

If it were all green no one could see the prickly pear fruits or the tiny yellow flowers on the ground, or the soft gray leaves getting ready for the Winter.

In Winter, the sky is dry and full of high cirrus clouds. The threat of bad weather hangs occasionally in the sky, usually on it's way to the East leaving this desert dry and dormant.

The prickly pears lose their green and turn a deep, sleeping brick red. Some droop and shrivel to the ground while others hold firm, ready for the short winter to be over. The weeds finally stop their show of baby blooms, and the the shrubs sport yellow and orange leaves. Across the vista is a sea of gold.

Who needs green when you can have gold?

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Favorite Painting

Over the years, I have painted many, many, oh so many paintings. Many I have given away to family and friends, a few I have sold, and most I have kept. Some hang on my walls, others are waiting for their day in the sun, as it were.

But of all of the paintings in my house, this one of the grapes is my favorite.

I love the abstract quality of the grapes; the mound of fruit with only a few grapes defined by shape and color. I love the multiple hues of brown, orange, and black in the bowl. I love the way the grapes hang asymmetrically off the bowl, but only slightly so. I love the shadows on the bowl and grapes. I love the purpley-blues.

I love that this painting was not done by me but by a really good friend of mine.

I love that this friend is also my daughter.

I love that my daughter painted this using Crayola watercolor paints.

I love that my daughter was only 5 years old when she painted this.

What's not to love?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Daisy Dance Line

"Daisy Dance Line"

20" x 24" x 1.4" Acrylic on Gallery-wrapped canvas

I completed this painting for January's Calypso Moon Artist Movement challenge. Last month we were tasked with creating a website, opening an etsy.com store, or other online avenue in which to sell our art. Done.

Next, we were to create a painting and put it up for sale on our chosen sales arena. I have a website for my art, www.paulareynoldsart.com, and this blog that I am listing this painting for sale. (I also have an etsy shop but it is empty right now. One day soon I'll get it going again.)

I came up with this idea from a painting I saw in a restaurant of abstract horses on a black background. Don't ask me how I got from horses to blue daisies. I really wanted to experiment using a black background and painting backwards, dark to light, but this didn't really end up that way. Sometimes when you have one idea for a painting, another sneaky idea will pop into your head and completely take over. Like mold. Or cellulite.

But prettier!

It took me quiet a while to paint this simply because of the small brushwork. But it's fun, colorful, and really adds a lot of color, drama, and POP to an otherwise boring wall!

Happy blue daisies everyone!

(Look for my art at The Firehouse; the home of the Del Rio Council for the Arts. My show will be the entire month of May, with an open-house and meet-and-greet the artist, ME!, on the first Friday of May.

Oh, and wine and cheese will be served. See you there!)